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Anger Is Crowd's Overarching Emotion at McCain Rally

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"Senator Obama has a clear radical, far-left, pro-abortion record," McCain said after being asked about the issue.

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The answer prompted a shower of boos from the crowd members. They booed again when he mentioned William Ayers, who bombed U.S. facilities to protest the Vietnam War as part of the domestic terrorist group the Weather Underground. They booed again at the mention of Rep. Barney Frank, a liberal from Massachusetts.

McCain spends most of his time at his rallies and town hall meetings lambasting his rival, often calling him a "co-conspirator" with congressional Democrats in what he argues are the seeds of the financial crisis at mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

"Will you assure us," one woman asked, "that, as president, you will take immediate action to investigate, prosecute and name the names of the people actually responsible?"

"I will," McCain answered.

"The same people that are now claiming credit for this rescue are the same ones that were willing co-conspirators in causing this problem that it is," he said, raising his voice to be heard over the crowd. "You know their names. You will know more of their names."

The crowds that show up for his rallies these days appear to have little appetite for the talk of bipartisan compromise that had been at the heart of his message around the Republican National Convention. During a rally outside a small airport in Mosinee, Wis., on Thursday, McCain said that "it's time we come together, Democrats and Republicans to work together. That's my record. I'll reach across the aisle."

The crowd stood silent.

At the town hall gathering here, McCain praised Harris for his "courage" in speaking his mind. But, heedful of the economic chaos gripping the country, McCain sought to steer away, at least briefly, from attacks on Obama's character and integrity.

"Yes, I'll do that," he said of the request to "take it to" Obama. "But I also, my friends, want to address the greatest financial challenge of our lifetime with a positive plan for action that Senator Obama and I have. We need to restore hope and trust and confidence in America and have Americans know that our best days are ahead of us. That's the future and strength and beauty of America."

As the crowd filed out, several said they agreed with the man who said he was mad. Others went further.

"No, I'm not mad, I'm pissed," said Joan Schmitz, who owns a plumbing company here. She said she was frustrated with polls showing Obama surging, McCain's performance in a Tuesday night debate, Obama himself, the media, and the liberal group ACORN, which she said was registering voters fraudulently.


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